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I have a situation where we have a web server (lets call it A) that is hosting a set of HTTP based services.

Due to some client restrictions, this web server is not open to the outside world but rather has an IP address based restriction to allow only a certain fixed set of IP addresses.

The idea is that there will be another server that will be the outward public facing server (lets call it B) and this server will then redirect all requests to server A - which accepts requests only from Server B.

2 questions :-

  1. Does having such a server configuration add any value or any benefit which could not be achieved by just having "server A" alone?

  2. If "server B" is only basically doing a redirect, can I do it using some networking hardware itself like a router etc rather than having a web server do it? And would that be more efficient?

  • From your question, it would certainly appear that 1 server could do all that you need. Is there a specific reason why you are thinking of 2 (number of visitors or something)? Or is it a security concern? – DaveP Jun 27 '14 at 16:38
  • The client is insisting on having server B. My feeling its mainly because their own IT want to outsource the risk of securing a public facing server. However, not being very experienced in system administration myself, I could be wrong so I wanted to check if there is any other possible benefit to such a configuration that I am unaware of. – Jagmag Jun 28 '14 at 2:22
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  1. It depends on how it's done. As I understand what is asked for, server B will be a so called "reverse proxy". Apache for instance is able to do that. And the config of Apache can be tweaked in many neat ways. You could add an extra authentication, integrate SSL, make redirects and whatever comes to your mind and Apache is capable of. Nginx has the same functionality, so Apache isn't a must. To sum it up: it CAN provide an extra security layer. Even load balancing when done right.

  2. I'm not aware of exclusive reverse proxying appliances. There might be. Maybe in form of a DD-WRT router. Basically any system capable of running such a software (webserver with revery proxying) will do.

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